Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, Takeo Hoshi, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 00:00

The Abe administration has outlined a desire for Japan to rank among the top three OECD countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. This column uses the Doing Business ranking itself to identify potential reforms the country could pursue to improve its position. Several politically viable, non-judicial reforms could quickly and easily move Japan up in the ranking. The approach highlights how the Doing Business rankings can be used to inform policy reform discussions.

Hiroyuki Motegi, Yoshinori Nishimura, Kazuyuki Terada, Friday, September 25, 2015 - 00:00

It is still not clear whether the effect of retirement on health is positive or negative. This column discusses new evidence from Japan showing that it is likely positive. In Japan, elderly people reduce their smoking and drinking after retirement. People tend to smoke and drink with their colleagues, so the result is mostly due to a peer effect.

Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Hideaki Aoyama, Yoshi Fujiwara, Hiroshi Iyetomi, Saturday, September 5, 2015 - 00:00

Deflation is a threat to the macroeconomy. Japan had suffered from deflation for more than a decade, and now, Europe is facing it. To combat deflation under the zero interest bound, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank have resorted to quantitative easing, or increasing the money supply. This column explores its effectiveness, through the application of novel methods to distinguish signals from noises.

Toshihiro Okubo, Yukako Ono, Yukiko Umeno Saito, Friday, September 4, 2015 - 00:00

The productivity of a firm depends on its interaction with its suppliers and customers. This column uses unique data from Japan to investigate the wholesalers’ role in transaction networks, considering both sides of the transaction. The likelihood that a firm uses wholesalers increases with smaller buyer-side firms and larger seller-side firms. In addition, wholesalers tend to be located closer to their manufacturing buyers and further from their manufacturing sellers than manufacturers are to their direct manufacturing partners.

Kaoru Hosono, Daisuke Miyakawa, Miho Takizawa, Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 00:00

‘Learning by exporting’ refers to productivity gains experienced by firms after they commence exporting. Such gains are argued to be due to access to new knowledge and resources. This column explores some of the preconditions for learning-by-exporting effects, using data on the overseas activities and affiliations of Japanese firms. Firms that enter markets in which they don’t have affiliates or subsidiaries are found to enjoy the most learning-by-exporting productivity gains. These findings have implications for the timing of new market entry.

Peng Xu, Monday, August 3, 2015 - 00:00

Corporate Japan is known for avoiding uncertainty. This is one of the reasons why changes of any kind are difficult – but not impossible – to realise. This column employs firm data to show that foreign direct investment has been changing corporate Japan by pursuing risk taking in private Japanese firms. This risk taking is positively related to firms’ sales growth and corporate earnings.

Dale W. Jorgenson, Koji Nomura, Jon D. Samuels, Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 00:00

The two lost decades in Japan and the Global Crisis of 2007–2009 have created new opportunities for economic growth. This column describes the evolution of productivity across sectors in Japan and the US and suggests that the greatest payoffs for Japan would come from combining the Trans-Pacific Partnership with domestic reforms and encouraging foreign direct investment.  

Jean-Pascal Bassino, Stephen Broadberry, Kyoji Fukao, Bishnupriya Gupta, Masanori Takashima, Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 00:00

Japan was the first Asian nation to achieve modern economic growth. This column discusses new evidence suggesting that Japan’s growth started from a lower level than Britain’s and grew more slowly until the Meiji Restoration. The key to understanding modern economic growth seems to lie in identifying the forces that dampened growth reversals, rather than the forces responsible for growth itself.

Takatoshi Ito, Satoshi Koibuchi, Kiyotaka Sato, Junko Shimizu, Monday, June 29, 2015 - 00:00

Japanese firms have been struggling with the yen’s volatility ever since the peg was dropped in 1973. This column, based on a recent survey of Japanese firms, argues that many firms have managed their exchange rate exposure by using operational and financial hedging strategies. It also finds that firms employing currency hedge and invoicing exports in yen are judged by the market to have reduced currency exposures. 

Petr Matous, Yasuyuki Todo, Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 00:00

Japanese business groups, or keiretsu – cartels of companies with interlocking interests – have contributed much to the success of Japanese manufacturing in the 20th century. This column explores the future of this form of corporate governance, amid increasing calls for their dissolution. An examination of trade networks in the automotive industry shows that automakers no longer exhibit a preference for dealing with keiretsu partners. Globalisation, procurement scandals, and advances in modularisation have helped to erode the benefits of these long-term relationships.

Masayuki Morikawa, Friday, May 22, 2015 - 00:00

World trade in services is increasing rapidly but micro evidence remains scarce. This column employs firm data from Japan to argue that service-exporting firms are more productive than non-exporting firms and goods-exporting firms. Information asymmetry, transportation costs, differences in institutions, cultures, and languages increase the fixed costs of service trade. Therefore, highly productive firms are more likely to self-select into service trade.   

Tomohiko Inui, Makiko Nakamuro, Kazuma Edamura, Junko Ozawa, Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 00:00

In order to achieve sustainable growth, Japan should make an efficient use of its labour force. However, female labour force participation and the share of women in leading positions in Japan remain low. This column investigates the impact of board diversity on firms’ innovative activity using Japanese firm-level data. The findings suggest that board diversity is associated with innovation only for firms that have already acquired diverse management skills.

Yuko Kinoshita, Fang Guo, Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 00:00

Hirofumi Uchida, Arito Ono, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 00:00

Hiroyasu Inoue, Kentaro Nakajima, Yukiko Umeno Saito, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 00:00

Tomohiko Inui, Keiko Ito, Daisuke Miyakawa, Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 00:00

Kozo Kiyota, Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 00:00

Masayuki Morikawa, Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 00:00

Kuniyoshi Saito, Daisuke Tsuruta, Friday, November 14, 2014 - 00:00

Ryohei Nakamura, Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 00:00


CEPR Policy Research